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In the Works

A look at notable projects under construction in the Crescent City.

Since Jan. 1, 2016, construction has been underway on the new North Terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Rendering courtesy of Crescent City Aviation Team

From the $950 million North Terminal Project at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to the 2,000-square-foot expansion of Parkway Bakery & Tavern in Mid-City, New Orleans’ construction industry is in good health. Many of the area’s architects, contractors and landscapers continue to leave their mark on our neighborhoods and the surrounding area, and there’s more to come.

“I think in general the climate for construction is positive with many projects in the pipeline,” says Snappy Jacobs, a local real estate broker. “It all revolves around our still growing tourism economy. Plus, interest rates are still low and there’s a lot of capital out there. I think we will continue to see a lot of construction in the area.”

Jacobs says Mid-City along Tulane Avenue and Canal Street is an area to watch as it transforms away from an industrial zone into more mixed use. He says the completion of the $2 billion University Medical Center-VA hospital complex is spurring much more development in that area.

“With all the growth and the street improvements, residential and commercial real estate investors have really been buying properties in that section of New Orleans,” he said.

The Penthouses at Mid-City Center are now leasing, adding more living options to the booming Mid-City region. Photo courtesy of VergesRome Architects

North Terminal Project at Louis Armstrong Airport

The North Terminal Project at Louis Armstrong International Airport kicked off construction Jan. 1. Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli, Manning Architects and the Crescent City Aviation Team — a joint venture of Leo A. Daly and Atkins North America Inc. — designed the terminal. In 2014, the Hunt, Gibbs, Boh Metro Joint venture was awarded to serve as the construction manager at risk for this project.

According to a press release from the mayor’s office, this project will create more than 13,000 new construction jobs. In total, the 760,500-square-foot terminal will feature 30 gates, a 2,000-car parking garage, a central utility plant and a ground transportation staging area. It is projected that this expansion will result in  $1.7 billion in economic impact from construction and $3.2 billion in expected annual economic impact on tourism. It is scheduled to open Oct. 1, 2018.

St. Martin’s Episcopal School’s Gibbs Family Center

An exciting midsize project, the 5,000-square-foot Gibbs Family Center for Innovation + Design at St. Martin’s Episcopal School is being led by architectural firm Blitch Knevel Architects and contractor F.H. Myers. The ribbon cutting for the new building will be held in January 2017. The center is named for Marian and Larry Gibbs, whose family has been deeply involved in the St. Martin’s community for 26 years. Larry Gibbs is also the CEO of Gibbs Construction.

The center includes a production studio, build and wood shops, and a digital lab, making it the most comprehensive school-based maker space in the region.

“I have no doubt this new facility and all the resources included in it will have a profound impact on our students,” said head of school Merry Sorrells. “The opportunity to utilize these new tools and spaces within our established design-thinking program will deepen the learning process and prepare our students to communicate more effectively, ask better questions, and build solutions together by working in a creative, collaborative learning environment.”

Elliot Peyton, a 15-year old freshman at St. Martin’s, is impressed by the almost finished construction.

“It looks real cool, and I think it will open a lot of doors for creativity for not only students but for our teachers, too,” said Peyton. “I like the way it looks, especially the design of the roof.”

Parkway Bakery & Tavern

It’s a relatively small construction project, but for all lovers of a great gravy-dripping roast beef poor-boy, it’s exciting news. One of the city’s beloved restaurants, Parkway Bakery & Tavern, is planning a 2,000 square-foot expansion.

“We started with a 15-by-30-foot space,” said Parkway owner Ray Nix. “We’ve been blessed with great customer support so we are crammed most days. We just outgrew our pants.”

He said that currently their offices are literally under the stairwell. This expansion will provide office space, a break room, more storage, more room for coolers and refrigerators, better restrooms, and more space to dine.

“We’re also trying to make it more handicap accessible, more sanitary and more convenient.”

The architect overseeing the project is Chip Verges of VergesRome Architects.

Parkway Bakery & Tavern in Mid-City is undergoing a 2,000-square-foot expansion.

“Most of the work is being done on the house adjacent to the restaurant,” he said. “All the colors and finishes will match the restaurant and provide a more cohesive look.”

Nix feels confident the expansion will happen quickly once all the ordinances and inspections are accomplished.

“We are looking at starting early this spring,” he said. “I used to be in construction and I expect to pop it up like a piece of toast.”

VergesRome is also doing work at the Mid City Centre, the 90-year old building that takes up a city block on North Carrollton Avenue and Bienville Street. The $2 million project will offer seven apartments: two one-bedroom and five two-bedrooms, ranging in size from 1,100 to 2,300 square feet.

“The views are tremendous,” said Verges. “The apartments facing Carrollton will be very popular around Endymion.”

Other New Orleans companies have also been busy with just completed projects, projects starting soon or beginning in the very near future.

Woodward Design + Build

Founded in 1924, Woodward Design+Build is a privately held firm based in New Orleans that is working, along with Carpenter and Co. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the 350-room Four Seasons Hotel at the World Trade Center. The $364 million project also includes 76 hotel-serviced condos and adds two wings to the sides of the building. Woodward is also continuing its work in the up-and-coming South Market District.

Ryan Gootee Construction

The company is a licensed commercial general contractor and the recipient of the 2015 Alliant Build America Award by the Associated General Contractors of America. The company recently completed the following projects:

The Manning Family Athletic Complex at Isidore Newman School
The architect on the project was Waggoner & Ball Architects. This new construction project consists of locker rooms, a press box, athletic equipment storage, snack bar and amenities building, restrooms, a sky deck located immediately behind the existing bleachers, field turf area, and an ornamental iron gate and paved parking area.

The Bourbon House
Renovations were for owner Dickie Brennan and Co. The architect for the project was Farouki & Farouki. The project was a fast-tracked renovation to the existing dining area, hotel lobby bar and café bar. Work included new heart of pine reclaimed-wood floors, new millwork, new banquettes, updated finishes including painting and staining woodwork, new lighting fixtures and furniture.

“We worked for months during the design assist, planning the execution of this project to ensure a minimal restaurant closure time of 10 days,” said Ryan Gootee.

Renovations to The Bourbon House restaurant were completed in August.

Other Gootee projects include: Jesuit High School, with architect Mathes Brierre Architects; Christian Brothers School at St. Anthony of Padua Campus renovations, with architect VergesRome Architects; and the Entergy interior renovations Floors 16 and 17, with architect Mathes Brierre Architects.

In the near future Gootee will be looking to build a new Gentilly campus for Good Shepherd School and a Robért Fresh Market on St. Claude Avenue; they are in various stages of negotiations for several projects with construction start dates over the next 18 months. They are encouraged about the market.

“In light of the numerous jobs we are currently working on, from our point of view, the future looks bright,” said Gootee.

Mullin Landscape Associates

Mullin is a comprehensive landscape design and build firm that offers a wide range of professional landscape services for residential and commercial clients.

“We’re currently working on the main headquarters for Florida Marine Transporters with Kent Design-Build on Highway 190 in Covington,” said president Chase Mullin. “We’re installing both landscaping as well as a large, custom fountain at the front entrance of the building.”

Another exciting project in the works is Malcolm M. Dienes, LLC’s new office, located on Causeway Boulevard in Metairie.

“The building is a testament to the rising property values in the area, and its attractive architecture and soon to be completed landscaping is reminiscent of the architectural style found in Alys Beach, Florida,” said Mullin.

Additionally, Mullin did the landscaping for the much-anticipated Trader Joe’s in Metairie. “We were proud to be a part of this project, built by Palmisano,” said Mullin. “It was a great and much-anticipated addition to the community.”

Mullin is also proud to be a part of the work his business is doing for Ochsner Medical Center. The company is installing a courtyard at Ochsner’s Driftwood location in Kenner, and they are in the design phase for several other locations.

Mullin Landscape Associates completed the landscape surrounding the Trader Joe’s that opened on Veterans Memorial Boulevard Sept. 23.

Additionally, Mullin will be starting work at Arlington Plantation in Franklin, Louisiana. Martin Romero, PLA, ASLA, one of Mullin’s Landscape Architects, has been collaborating with the client this past year in the creation of a unique venue space for weddings and other functions. Construction for this project will be kicking off right around Thanksgiving. 

“We will be accentuating the property with a large brick court area with sugar-kettle water feature and landscaping that highlights the architecture and history of the plantation,” he said. “It has been an enriching experience to work with our clients in the development of these ideas, especially considering their passion about the history of the plantation as well as the vision of its true potential.”

From the ubiquitous and often frustrating roadwork to new hotels and homes, New Orleanians are seeing lots of construction.

“The climate in construction is good right now, but it’s shifting to more private investment,” said Verges. “ The public investment from FEMA and such things as building schools is winding down and now there is a lot of growth in building office space and housing. We are excited about the future.”